1952 electrical help.

Questions, answers and advice for people who own or work on houses built during the 20th century.

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1952 electrical help.

Post by BriMac »

Hey all! Just purchased a 1952 house in Orlando and am having some trouble finding an answer to an electrical question. First some info: the house was built in 1952 with some additions around the 80's. The additions as well as the kitchen and bathrooms are all set, but the 3 original bedrooms as well as the living room all have ungrounded 2-prong outlets. Two of these rooms will be offices with a decent amount of computers/electronics, plus the normal tv setup in the living space. Before we purchased, the owners had two new panels installed, the main and one in the house, to be updated to code. We called an electrician to ask about rewiring the bedrooms/living area and were quoted a broad "tens of thousands" of dollars figure, which is not an option at this time. I was unfortunately not there to ask them questions, but it was relayed to me that his suggestion was to change the breakers responsible for these areas into arc fault/ground fault breakers and replace the outlets with GFI ones. Although, some things I've read said this would be redundant. Also, after researching, I purchased some self grounding outlets due to the boxes appearing to be metal. But after taking a reading, the ground was still open, so I replaced the original back.

In lieu of calling another electrician out while I'm available I wanted to ask here:

1. What is the best solution for me to update those rooms to be safe, 3-pronged outlets?
2. Does it make sense to replace the breakers and outlets both to arc fault/ground fault?
3. How would I be able to figure out which breakers are the correct ones. Lots of things I have seen said to use the same exact ones, but that does not work for me since I want to go from normal to arc fault / ground fault? I've added a pic of the breakers for reference.

Thanks for any input / advice.
IMG_4253 2.jpg
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Re: 1952 electrical help.

Post by V-Man »

Can't answer your question about the breakers, but one economical and safe way to convert to three prongs is to replace with GFI outlets. Certainly there are drawbacks, namely no true ground to protect electrical equipment from power surges. Otherwise the real fix would be to rewire.
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